This week OSHA released its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) following Joe Biden’s direction. The new guidance outlined in a 490-page submission goes into effect January 4th and affects all private companies with 100 or more employees who report to a shared, indoor workplace. Under the ETS, all employees must be “fully vaccinated” by the effective date or submit to at least weekly testing and masking guidelines. Just two weeks ago, CDC director Rochelle Walensky, mentioned that the term “fully vaccinated” may need to be updated.1
Promises Broken; Constitution Violated
In July, when asked about vaccine mandates, White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, stated:
“that’s not the role of the federal government.”2
Others, including Nancy Pelosi also commented that vaccination status is a private matter:
“So here’s the thing: We cannot require someone to be vaccinated. That’s just not what we can do, it is a matter of privacy to know who is or who isn’t.”3
Within two months of Jen Psaki’s statement, Biden announced he was handing the authority over to OSHA to draft an ETS mandating the vaccines for 84 million American workers.
The OSHA rule is said to preempt any state or local government laws that prohibit companies from requiring employees to mask or vaccinate. To many, this is understood to be in violation of the US Constitution. According to the law guiding document, state law supersedes federal law. Many states and organizations have already filed lawsuits, with many more promising to.
OSHA’s Questionable Practices; Double Standards
On May 21, 2021, OSHA, in an attempt to not dissuade or disillusion employees from taking the vaccine told companies they were no longer required to report adverse events to workplace mandated COVID vaccines:
DOL and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers' vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904's recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination at least through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward.4
Yet, under the new ETS, companies are required to report COVID related deaths within 8 hours and COVID related hospitalizations within 24 hours.
OSHA’s ETS disregards natural immunity as an alternative to vaccination or masking and testing, stating there are no reliable tests available, nor long term data on natural immunity. However, recently, the PCR tests employees will be forced to pay for are being discontinued by the CDC, have been questioned by several experts, and are listed alongside immune response tests on the FDA website as reputable diagnostic tools.
Americans Holding the Line and Fighting Back
Recently, two experts familiar with the workings, responsibilities, and limitations of OSHA shared the rights American workers have to utilize to stand against the mandates.
American’s can submit "public comments" to the new rule by December 6, 2021, at regulations.gov and referencing OSHA2021-0007. At the time of publication, there appeared to be an error on the site that didn’t allow comments to load. Some of the comments OSHA is looking for are:
Should this rule be implemented for companies with fewer than 100 employees?
Was there a decrease of infection since the implementation of this rule?
With mandates similar to this having been implemented by state and local governments, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities, and universities, many Americans have already been speaking out. Some going as far as to take the job loss while others are winning legal battles. Sanitation employees in NYC are allowing trash to collect without pickup, letting the mayor know what they think of his mandates.
While OSHA and the White House are quick to assert there isn’t anything for states and local governments to do but comply, many have already filed lawsuits against Biden. The list continues to grow and includes state attorney generals, private and non-profit organizations and likely more to come.
At the time of publication, 42 US Senators are promising to challenge OSHA and Biden under the Congressional Review Act.